The recent decriminalization of marijuana in many states has led to many people to the conclusion that marijuana is a safe a non-addicting drug. Although the addictive potential of marijuana is not as great as that of “hard” drugs like cocaine and opioids, marijuana is, in fact, capable of causing physical dependence and addiction. According to the National Institute of Health, “Marijuana produces dependence less readily than most other illicit drugs. Some 9 percent of those who try marijuana develop dependence compared to, for example, 15 percent of people who try cocaine and 24 percent of those who try heroin. However, because so many people use marijuana, cannabis dependence is twice as prevalent as dependence on any other illicit psychoactive substance.” Marijuana addiction, referred to as Marijuana Use Disorder, is possible and requires treatment that addresses both physical and psychological dependence. The physical withdrawal symptoms may include irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety, and decreased appetite. Withdrawal symptoms peak within one week after cessation and generally last no longer than two weeks. The potential to develop physical dependence has increased in recent years because of the rising potency of the psychoactive component (THC) in marijuana. Although non-lethal, overdose is also possible with marijuana. According to the NIH, “People have reported symptoms such as anxiety and paranoia, and in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction (which can include delusions and hallucinations) that can lead them to seek treatment in an emergency room.” This is more common when marijuana is taken in “edible” form: “While a psychotic reaction can occur following any method of use, emergency room responders have seen an increasing number of cases involving marijuana edibles. Some people (especially preteens and teens) who know very little about edibles don’t realize that it takes longer for the body to feel marijuana’s effects when eaten rather than smoked. So they consume more of the edible, trying to get high faster or thinking they haven’t taken enough.” Physical symptoms are not permanent. However, social side effects of chronic marijuana use may greatly reduce a user’s quality of life, especially among younger users. Marijuana users consistently report lower academic and career success, poor mental and physical health, and more relationship problems. Fortunately, the physical side effects a social consequences of marijuana addiction can be overcome through adherence to a recovery program that focuses on both the physical and psychological aspects of the addiction.
Recovery can be the next great chapter of your story. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin the journey toward a happy and joyous life in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is dedicated to providing you all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777